As members of our yoga community you may know that Kelowna Yoga House is a not-for-profit society run by a board of directors and the dedicated service of many volunteers. Are you aware what a rare and beautiful bird we are, given that there are currently only two not-for-profit societies in Canada, running an Iyengar yoga center with volunteer power? Did you also know that when the Kelowna Yoga House opened its doors twenty years ago we were one of two places offering any yoga in Kelowna?!
Thanks to our generous benefactor, Margaret Lunam and our fiscally responsible present and past board of directors, the Kelowna Yoga House is mortgage free. Although many volunteers and many committees keep an organization strong and healthy, the fulcrum of the society must be the Marketing Committee. This committee is tasked with the paradoxical job of keeping a not-for-profit society in business. Our committee gives their heart, energy and creative thinking to maintaining a vibrant and lucrative profile for KYH in an ever-changing market. But that’s what yogis like, challenge and the opportunity to create clarity from multiple perspectives. In this week’s newsletter you will meet two of the marketing committee members, Mike Martin and Tracy Forsythe. Stay tuned for the next issue for interviews with the other members, Carola Jaspers, Anahita Tajadod and Heather MacNaughton.
Tracy Forsythe has been on the marketing committee since 2008. At that time, it was called the Advertising Committee. We brainstormed ideas to promote KYH, which included putting posters up, writing and placing ads in local newspapers and organizing Open Houses. Tracy has been a yoga teacher for 20 years and also worked as a Court Reporter in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton for 10 years. She got involved in the committee because Deborah Lomond, a KYH teacher and Board member at the time, asked her if she would join the committee. She was new to Kelowna and fairly new to KYH and thought it would be a great way to become more involved.
The greatest joy of working on the marketing committee for Tracy is working with the other members. Tracy enjoys and appreciates each and every person who has participated over the years. She enjoys meeting and brainstorming together on the different ways to promote KYH. She enjoyed helping to implement new technologies such as the KYH social media accounts, a new website and online newsletter. The challenges we face are working within a small budget and the current pandemic which meant we had to pivot our focus in implementing new strategies at a rapid pace, and adapting to the ever-evolving technologies and social media platforms.
Our best promotion for KYH has always been word of mouth, and this continues to this day. Our students are our best ambassadors!
What Tracy sees for the future of KYH is a vibrant yoga studio with live classes in studio and online, including a library of online classes to meet the needs of our member’s lifestyles. She hopes that once the pandemic restrictions have lifted, that we can return to the days of hosting invited guest teachers to offer workshops and seminars.
Mike Martin, is the current chair of the Marketing committee and has been on the committee since 2016. He is the President of a software development company.
Mike started classes at KYH eleven years ago after a waterski injury and the persuasion of his wife Susan who took classes regularly at KYH. A few years later he was approached by KYH teacher, Krisna Zawaduk to consider the committee because of his enthusiasm for yoga and energy level. Mike loves the people on the marketing committee, both their company and lively discussions they have at their meetings. He gets a lot of satisfaction knowing that his contributions and efforts are appreciated. His biggest frustration with being on the committee is not being able to get the message regarding the benefits of Iyengar yoga to more people. Mike also thinks that the most effective method to promote KYH is word of mouth. But to get KYH where we want to be in the future and inform all age groups about our centre we need to focus our attention even more on social media. For the future of KYH, Mike would like to see more of an online presence. Given our unique circumstance of being not-for-profit, having our own facility and experienced and well-trained teachers, we could be a major Iyengar presence in North America.
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